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Equality at the OU

The Open University is innovative, responsive and inclusive. We deliver world-class, part-time education to people across the four nations of the UK and worldwide. We make a significant contribution to employability and productivity, strengthening the UK economy.

Since 1969, we have promoted educational opportunity and social justice by providing high-quality education to all those who wish to realise their ambitions and fulfil their potential. More than 2 million people have experienced this life-changing learning through their study with us.

Our mission is to be open to people, places, methods and ideas and this means that a commitment to equality is embedded in all that we do. We celebrate diversity and the strengths that it brings, we challenge under-representation and differences in outcomes.

Discrimination arising from individual characteristics and circumstances is not only unlawful, but a waste of talent and a denial of opportunity, preventing individuals, organisations and societies from achieving their growth potential.

Baroness Lane-Fox of Soho, Chancellor of The Open University

Professor Mary Kellett, Vice-Chancellor of The Open University

Structures for Managing Equality

The Equality Diversity and Inclusion Steering Group (EDISG) is chaired by the PVC, Students, and provides direction on the strategic positioning of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, with input and advice from the Sponsors of the OU's institutional equality objectives and the EDI team.  The group has  responsibility for the rolling four year strategy which will drive the aims and objectives of the equality scheme 2018-2022.

Managing and Mainstreaming Equality and Diversity

We have implemented a number of different arrangements to embed equality and diversity in University processes and to ensure we meet our statutory equality duties.
We manage and mainstream equality and diversity by:

  • Consulting and engaging
  • Developing inclusive policy
  • Developing staff
  • Influencing partners
  • Influencing providers of goods and services
  • Monitoring equality of opportunity
  • Planning and reporting performance
  • Providing accessible information and services
  • Publishing information
  • Sharing resources
  • Widening participation
  • Working with equality organisations
Information on each of these activities is provided in this section of our website, and further detail is contained in our equality scheme.

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